Old Inventions You Wont Believe Happened


1 This Handy Face Protector

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These aren’t for cosplaying Spy vs. Spy. And although they look ideal for maintaining a healthy anti-social distance, they’re not for that either. They’re actually face masks to protect your face from the ravages of snow storms. When those razor sharp flakes come hurtling through the air at gale-force speeds, your delicate skin will be protected.

2 These Reading Glasses

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These reading glasses were invented in England in 1936. Was reading in bed a lot harder back then? Was sleeping on your side illegal? Maybe an inter-war pillow shortage made propping yourself up impossible. Whatever the reason, we’re sure these were totally necessary.

3 This Piano

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Well this is specific. It’s a piano made specifically for the bedridden. Is there a specific type of being bedridden that precludes you from being propped up in front of a regular piano? Yes? Well that small subsection of humanity must be really happy.

4 The Extensible Caravan

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Camping in close quarters is the pits. Why not give your next camping trip a little more room with the extensible caravan? We’re sure it’s much easier to drive than it looks. Spending your vacation stuck on the side of the road is sort of like spending it in the woods, right?

5 The Radio Hat

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The “radio hat” was invented in 1931 by an American inventor. It was the world’s first boom box and it sold like gangbusters. Unfortunately, almost everyone who bought one was physically assaulted by their roommates or while riding public transportation. Coincidentally, 1931 was also the year that the word “douchenozzle” was invented. We’re not sure if any of that is true

6 Wooden Bathing Suits

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These are wooden bathing suits. The principle underlying them is pretty sound. Wood does float and floating does make swimming easier. Unfortunately every decision after that was all wrong turns and crotch splinters.

7 Radio Stroller

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This elaborate contraption is called a “radio stroller”. It was invented in 1921 for busy moms. The patent says it’s designed to keep the baby calm and quiet. But it looks more like it’s designed to drown the baby so it just sounds like he’s quiet.

8 This Amphibious Bike

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Have you ever wanted to go for a trip out on the lake while riding your bike? With this attractive contraption, you finally can. Well, we’re pretty sure those giant white orbs will keep you floating. We’re not so sure how long those thin, flat tires will keep you on the road.

9 These Swimming Aids

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This is another antiquated swimming aid. Apparently, back then, your only choices were wedgies or crotch splinters. We’re surprised anyone went swimming at all. Dry land is better than mortification any day.

10 A New Type of Motorcycle

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This one-wheeled motorcycle was invented in Germany in 1925. It’s inventor was looking for a way to make motorcycles more difficult to ride and more dangerous. Despite it’s improvements on the original, the one-wheeled motorcycle never took off. We guess the world just wasn’t ready.

10 Unethical Businesses Nobody Cares In India


India, a country that exudes diversity in every aspect of its social or cultural life, is a land of wonder for many. People come from all over the world to witness its charm and rich history. However, behind all these glam and glory lies an image that is ruthless and downright illegal. Although most of us are aware of the illegal practices being carried around us, we don’t have time to dwell in the negatives and hence efficiently adjusts to it.

Cleaning of Ears

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For many, this may seem way beyond their imagination of ‘weird’ job. But in some places of India, it is a common sight to view a person cleaning customer’s ears with ‘special’ equipments. These equipments are special because although it efficiently cleans one’s ears, these are dangerous and can cause hearing disability if not handled properly. It is an illegal business as per the government norm but is carried out openly in villages and small towns of the country.   

Dentists on the Streets

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At some point or other, everyone goes to the dentist for a dental surgery, filling job or just to get rid of the unbearable tooth-ache. However, to get the tooth fixed, one requires spending minimum thousand bucks. But what about those who couldn’t afford such an expensive treatment? Well, they are rescued by the street dentists who are now present in every corner of India in spite of the Government declaring it to be an illegal business. They hardly carry any license or certificate for that case and can’t be held responsible for the after-effects of a wrong treatment.

Food Adulteration

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This is probably the most common and unfortunately accepted illegal business in India. Although it’s a known fact that our grocer is mixing unwanted things or adulterant to the food stuffs on his shop, we not only buy them but never question as well.
There are number of Food and Drug Administration that regulates laws on food safety and while they are strictly followed by people in foreign countries, the scenario is different in India. The illegal practice is more prevalent in small towns and places where people are ignorant. Every year, more than thousands of people in the country get ill or lose their life because of food adulteration.

Duplicate Goods

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The increasing population and the growing inequality among the people in India can be said to be one of the reasons behind the growing illegal business of duplicate goods. A common sight in India is that an item that is sold at 1000 in a mall is available as a duplicate product and at a rate twice less than that of the former. This market is flourishing as more than half of the population in India falls under middle class and couldn’t afford expensive goods.

Sex Determination And Female Feticide

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Gone are the days when people used to differentiate between a girl child and a boy child. Every child brings along some specialty and is precious to their parents. While one part of India paints a picture of an open-minded and forward thinking country, the other part is gloomy and still very backward. There a nooks and corners in most of the states in India where female child is unwanted and killed while in mother’s womb. The law imposes strict punishment on those who are caught practicing the illegal act of sex determination and abortion of female child. Unfortunately, female fetus still killed or left behind after birth to be an orphan.

Prostitution

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While in some countries like Germany and Gambia, prostitution is legal, in most part of the world it is regarded as an illegal act. All these countries, where the trade is illegal, are suffering from growing red light areas. According to a study by Axel Dreher of University of Heidelberg, countries that legalize the trade are encouraging human trafficking. India as well is a victim of this dreadful illegal business and growing diseases like HIV/AIDS.

Movies CD/DVDs Piracy Market

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It is funny to note that while using a pirated CD/DVD, most of us don’t even realize that it is an illegal act. We are so used to the easy availability of the pirated products that we don’t want to take the hassle of waiting for the genuine CDs and DVDs to arrive the market. There is a major market in India that deals in pirated products and escapes any legal action although it is illegal as per Government norms.

Begging

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Giving money to beggars is considered as a generous act by most of us. We pity them and wonder what might have happened to them to have such a miserable life. However, the real picture is beyond one’s imagination. Begging is actually a booming business for human traffickers and the beggars are part of their play to extract money from passerby. Begging is downright illegal but people hardly know about the reality and are always eager to please God by helping the ‘needy’. 

Desi Daru

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Alcohol consumption could be injurious to health and family as well. But every city in the country now has one alcohol shop probably after every 2 kilometer. But the growing concern of the country is the increasing trade of local-made alcoholic drink or Desi Daru as it is popularly called. This falls under illegal business since many people were reported ill or dead due to the consumption of Desi Daru. Despite being called as illegal, shops selling desi daru are opening almost every fortnight. 

Child Labor

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The most dangerous of all illegal businesses is that of child labor. According to Fundamental Rights and the Directive Principles of State Policy in India, it is a punishable act to make children less than 14 years work in factory or mine. But the problem lies in the ignorance of people about this law and continuous harassment of child in different ways.

The Bather in Germany


Hamburg’s Inner Alster Lake has a new inhabitant – and this is not your standard duck or fish. A giant woman sculpture called “Die Badende” (“The Bather”) will grace the lake – making Inner Alster essentially the world’s biggest bathtub. She rises 13 feet out of the water and appears in a comfortable state of repose, with her knees up, proving quite an obstacle for boaters in the Inner Alster.

In fact, many have been renting paddle boats just to get a closer glimpse.

President Pranab says India and Bangladesh should walk ‘ shoulder to shoulder’


Asserting that the two Asian neighbours are inheritors of an undivided civilizational legacy, President Pranab Mukherjee on Tuesday said India and her people share a special connection with Bangladesh.

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“It is with pride that Bangladesh engages in the task of building a modern, progressive and prosperous nation. As in 1971, so in 2013, the people of India stand beside the people of Bangladesh. We will walk with you as equal partners, shoulder to shoulder, arm in arm. We are both inheritors of an undivided civilizational legacy. It is no wonder that India and her people share a special connection with Bangladesh. We have an abiding interest in the all-round development of Bangladesh,” said President Mukherjee in his acceptance and banquet speech on receipt of Bangladesh ‘Liberation War Honour’.
 
” However, the full potential of our cooperation is yet to be tapped. My discussions during this visit have been extremely rewarding. Our Governments have established a comprehensive framework for cooperation. Our endeavour will be to see how our bilateral cooperation can bring sustained benefits to our people and improve the quality of their lives. This will be the litmus test of the success of our relationship,” he added.
 
President Mukherjee said India is happy to see the tremendous strides made by Bangladesh.
 
“The impressive and path-breaking manner in which Bangladesh has faced the challenges of eradication of poverty is worthy of emulation. I pay tribute to the people of Bangladesh, its farmers, entrepreneurs, doctors, teachers, scientists and many others who represent the creative genius of its people,” he added.
 
President Mukherjee said he is delighted to be in Bangladesh and grateful for the affection bestowed on him on his first state visit abroad after the assumption of the office of the President of India.
 
“As I stand here tonight, I am filled with memories of the events of 1971. I was 36 years old and a Member of Parliament when the people of Bangladesh engaged themselves in their liberation struggle. Many of us were passionately concerned about the events that were unfolding then. 24-hour television channels did not exist in those days – and it was the Free Bangladesh Radio and All India Radio that gave us reports of the heroic struggle of our brothers and sisters in Bangladesh,” said President Mukherjee.

 “These bulletins were keenly followed by us in India – as the minds and hearts of all Indians were with the people of Bangladesh. The plight of millions of homeless people crossing the border, seeking refuge in the neighbouring States of India stirred the hearts of our people as they felt ine anguish of that hapless multitude. They came forward wholeheartedly to succour and any assistance they could provide to their brethren from Bangladesh in their hour of need. The images of the proud people of Bangladesh and their brave fight for justice and dignity were etched in every Indian’s consciousness,” he added.
 
President Mukherjee recalled that on June 15, 1971, he had the privilege to initiate a discussion on the floor of the Rajya Sabha, the upper house of the Indian Parliament, when he suggested that India should accord diplomatic recognition to the Government of Bangladesh in exile in Mujibnagar.
 
“My words are on the record in proceedings of Rajya Sabha. When a Member sought my suggestion on how to tackle the problem, I responded by saying: “I am talking of a political solution which means categorically recognising the sovereign democratic Government of Bangladesh. Political solution means giving material help to the democratic, sovereign Government of Bangladesh…,” said President Mukherjee.
 
” I reminded the House of the many instances in world history when intervention on similar grounds had taken place in past.,” he added.
 
President Mukherjee further said ‘as a Member of Indian Delegation in the 59th Conference of Inter Parliamentary Union in Paris (France) in 1971 from 2nd to 10th September, we took the opportunity of the presence of large number of Members of Parliaments of different countries to explain the situation in Bangladesh and urged them to prevail upon their Governments to speak out against the violation of human rights in Bangladesh’.
 
“I also had the privilege of visiting the United Kingdom and the then Federal Republic of Germany as a Member of the Goodwill Parliamentary Delegation in the same visit. I was mandated to brief the Members of the Parliaments and to the leaders of those countries about the situation. Late Shri H.D. Malviya, former Member of Parliament and activist of the World Peace Council had accompanied me in this mission,” said President Mukherjee.
 
“Later I was given the responsibility of visiting the refugee camps in the neighbouring  States of India – including Tripura, Assam and Meghalaya and coordinating with the local Governments on making them functional and comfortable,” he added.

 

Pope to Resign : First to do so since 1415


 After Pope Benedict XVI announced his plans for resignation, many are wondering who will take his place.
(ANDREAS SOLARO/AFP/Getty Images)
Pope Benedict XVI said Monday he lacks the strength to fulfill his duties and on Feb. 28 will become the first pontiff in 600 years to resign. The announcement sets the stage for a conclave in March to elect a new leader for world’s 1 billion Catholics.The 85-year-old pope announced the bombshell in Latin during a meeting of Vatican cardinals, surprising even his closest collaborators, even though Benedict had made clear in the past he would step down if he became too old or infirm to do the job.

Benedict called his choice “a decision of great importance for the life of the church.”

Indeed, the move allows the Vatican to hold a conclave before Easter to elect a new pope, since the traditional mourning time that would follow the death of a pope doesn’t have to be observed.

It will also allow Benedict to hold great sway over the choice of his successor. He has already hand-picked the bulk of the College of Cardinals — the princes of the church who will elect the next pope — to guarantee his conservative legacy and ensure an orthodox future for the church.

There are several papal contenders in the wings, but no obvious front-runner — the same situation when Benedict was elected pontiff in 2005 after the death of Pope John Paul II.

The Vatican stressed that no specific medical condition prompted Benedict’s decision, but in recent years, the pope has slowed down significantly, cutting back his foreign travel and limiting his audiences. He now goes to and from the altar in St. Peter’s Basilica on a moving platform, to spare him the long walk down the aisle. Occasionally he uses a cane.

His 89-year-old brother, Georg Ratzinger, said doctors had recently advised the pope not to take any more trans-Atlantic trips.

“His age is weighing on him,” Ratzinger told the dpa news agency. “At this age my brother wants more rest.”

Benedict emphasized that carrying out the duties of being pope — the leader of more than a billion Roman Catholics worldwide — requires “both strength of mind and body.”

“After having repeatedly examined my conscience before God, I have come to the certainty that my strengths due to an advanced age are no longer suited to an adequate exercise of the Petrine ministry,” he told the cardinals.

“In order to govern the bark of St. Peter and proclaim the Gospel, both strength of mind and body are necessary — strengths which in the last few months, have deteriorated in me to the extent that I have had to recognize my incapacity to adequately fulfill the ministry entrusted to me,” he said.

Popes are allowed to resign; church law specifies only that the resignation be “freely made and properly manifested.” But only a handful have done it.

The last pope to resign was Pope Gregory XII, who stepped down in 1415 in a deal to end the Great Western Schism among competing papal claimants. The most famous resignation was Pope Celestine V in 1294; Dante placed him in hell for it.

When Benedict was elected at age 78, he was the oldest pope chosen in nearly 300 years. At the time, he has already been planning to retire as the Vatican’s chief orthodoxy watchdog to spend his final years writing in the “peace and quiet” of his native Bavaria.

On Monday, Benedict said he would serve the church for the remainder of his days “through a life dedicated to prayer.” The Vatican said immediately after his resignation, Benedict would go to Castel Gandolfo, the papal summer retreat south of Rome, and then would live in a cloistered monastery.

Contenders to be his successor include Cardinal Angelo Scola, archbishop of Milan, Cardinal Christoph Schoenborn, the archbishop of Vienna, and Cardinal Marc Ouellet, the Canadian head of the Vatican’s office for bishops.

Longshots include Cardinal Timothy Dolan of New York. Although Dolan is popular and backs the pope’s conservative line, the general thinking is that the Catholic Church doesn’t need a pope from a “superpower.”

Given half of the world’s Catholics live in the global south, there will once again be arguments for a pope to come from the developing world.

Cardinal Antonio Tagle, the archbishop of Manila, has impressed many Vatican watchers, but at 56 and having only been named a cardinal last year, he is considered too young.

Cardinal Peter Kodwo Appiah Turkson of Ghana is one of the highest-ranking African cardinals at the Vatican, currently heading the Vatican’s office for justice and peace, but he’s something of a wild card.

All cardinals under age 80 are allowed to vote in the conclave, the secret meeting held in the Sistine Chapel where cardinals cast ballots to elect a new pope. As per tradition, the ballots are burned after each voting round; black smoke that snakes out of the chimney means no pope has been chosen, while white smoke means a pope has been elected.

The pontiff had been due to attend World Youth Day in July in Rio de Janeiro; by then his successor will have been named and will presumably make the trip.

Benedict himself raised the possibility of resigning if he were simply too old or sick to continue on, when he was interviewed in 2010 for the book “Light of the World.”

“If a pope clearly realizes that he is no longer physically, psychologically and spiritually capable of handling the duties of his office, then he has a right, and under some circumstances, also an obligation to resign,” Benedict said.

The former Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger had an intimate view as Pope John Paul II, with whom he had worked closely for nearly a quarter-century, suffered through the debilitating end of his papacy.

The announcement took the Vatican — and the rest of the world — by surprise.

Several cardinals on Monday didn’t even understand what Benedict had said during the consistory, said the Rev. Federico Lombardi, the Vatican spokesman said. Others who did were stunned.

“All the cardinals remained shocked and were looking at each other,” said Monsignor Oscar Sanchez of Mexico who was in the room when Benedict made his announcement.

Benedict was born April 16, 1927 in Marktl Am Inn, in Bavaria, but his father, a policeman, moved frequently and the family left when he was 2.

In his memoirs, Benedict dealt what could have been a source of controversy had it been kept secret — that he was enlisted in the Nazi youth movement against his will when he was 14 in 1941, when membership was compulsory. He said he was soon let out because of his studies for the priesthood. Two years later he was drafted into a Nazi anti-aircraft unit as a helper. He deserted the German army in April 1945, the waning days of the war.

He called it prophetic that a German followed a Polish pope — with both men coming from such different sides of World War II.

Benedict was ordained, along with his brother, in 1951. After spending several years teaching theology in Germany, he was appointed bishop of Munich in 1977 and elevated to cardinal three months later by Pope Paul VI.

John Paul named him leader of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith in 1981 and he took up his post a year later. Following John Paul’s death in 2005, he was elected pope April 19 in one of the fastest conclaves in history, just about 24 hours after the voting began.

 

Stuttgart City Library -Germany


Stuttgart City Library

Stuttgart City Library
The city of Stuttgart, Germany has officially opened a marvelous new media center, the Stuttgart City Library.  This cavernous white wonder is unobtrusive in design, where the books and visitors provide the color to an otherwise neutral environment.  The visual center of the Stuttgart City Library is its grand atrium, a five-story open chamber that feels like the work of a modernist MC Esher.  The interior is bright without direct lighting, it is warm without paint color and intimate yet open.  This work by Yi Architects is a success in design, instantly one of the world’s most beautiful libraries.

Deconstructing Hitler: Germany to produce biopic on Nazi dictator


Germany is to produce a TV mini-series on the life of Adolf Hitler. The series will follow Hitler from his youth as a solider in World War One to his suicide at the end of World War II.

­“We thought the time was right for a German look at Hitler, at his life,” Beta Film producer Jan Mojto is quoted as saying.

The country’s two leading TV producers agreed to unite their efforts and the resources to shoot the saga entitled Hitler’s First War.

“This will be a demystification of Hitler, a look at how he created his own history and created myths that seduced the German people,” Nico Hofmann of TeamWorx explained at the TV and entertainment market MIPCOM, in Cannes.

“The series will be a direct look at the biggest evil of this century: how it happened and where it came from,” he added.

The series is reportedly budgeted at between $20 million-$25 million according to The Hollywood Reporter.

The eight-part mini-series will be adapted from the biography by the award-winning historian Thomas Weber, the author of the Lodz Ghetto Album, a collection by a Jewish photographer whose images shed new light on how ghetto society functioned during the Holocaust.

The Hollywood Reporter is quoting Weber as saying that the only way to get to the bottom of the influence the Nazi leader had over millions of Germans was by “taking Hitler’s skills of self-invention seriously, his talents and weaknesses, his cold savagery but also his outright personal charm.”